Suppose one were to mekadesh a woman using a valuable coin that is literally worth less than a perutah, but the same coin technically carried an additional value.

For example: a 1943 1 cent Lincoln steel penny can literally be used as 1 cent... but technically also has a value of $1,625.

enter image description here

If one were to use such a coin to mekadesh a woman would the kiddushin be valid?

Namely, if a person specified this 1 cent coin that WOULD NOT be halachically valid, can we say that since the coin ALSO carries an additional value that is significantly more than a perutah that the kiddushin WOULD be valid?

(a bit similar to this question but def not the same. That question emphasizes the stipulation, this question emphasizes the difference in value and how one of the values would halachically be invalid)

  • 1
    I assume it goes by the market value...
    – robev
    May 14, 2019 at 3:13
  • 2
    שווה פרוטה means "buying power" not "nominal value" of an object. If $1600 can be bought with this cent, it is worth $1600. Even if the groom did it unintentionally (he thought it is only a cent)
    – Al Berko
    May 14, 2019 at 12:25
  • 1
    @AlBerko If he did it unintentionally he never meant to do Kiddushin.
    – DonielF
    May 14, 2019 at 15:58
  • I wonder if you could use this for tax evasion. Trade with someone for a cent, buy back for 1.5k. Rinse and repeat. Does this avoid gift taxes?
    – Double AA
    May 20, 2020 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


As the gemara rules (Kiddushin 12a) that if the object isn't worth a Perutah here but is worth more than a Perutah in another place, the Kiddushin are valid.

Ebay is such "another place" where the bride can use the full worth as it is an accepted marketplace, and the prices there are valid market prices.

  • 1
    Is that an accurate extension? In the case here the penny it's worth a penny according to everyone... but at the same time also worth $1625 according to everyone. That seems to be a different metzius than the gemara.
    – alicht
    May 14, 2019 at 13:08

One can be mekadesh a woman with: 1) A perutah of MONEY, or: An object WORTH a perutah of money. 2) A shtar(document) 3) With beeoh (to live together in the biblical sense) You could be mekadesh this woman with this coin, not as a perutah of money, but as an object worth a perutah of money. Source: kiddushin: 2a

(By the way beis shammai argue with /beis Hillel(who say that the worth must be a perutah), and say that the right value is a dinnar. We pasken like beis hillel) Source: kiddushin: 2a

  • 1
    If you're throwing in biah, which isn't relevant to the question at hand, why not also mention shtar? Thanks for the answer! Would you have to specify youre giving it as shaveh kesef more than a perutah, if it could be understood as kesef less than a perutah?
    – robev
    May 20, 2020 at 17:29
  • Can you source that you can force a coin to be used not as a coin?
    – DonielF
    May 21, 2020 at 0:23
  • You do not have to specify how what you are giving will make the kiddushin work at all! All you need to say: is "be mekudeshes to me", and then give the cesef, or shoveh cesef.
    – Simcha
    May 21, 2020 at 20:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .